Friday, 9 October 2020

Why are we sticking with AC?


Should houses and offices have DC distribution cabling?


In the beginning there was DC

In the 1870's, Thomas Edison developed the DC (Direct Current) generator and built the first electrical distribution system.

The problem was that the distribution system had to be at a non-lethal voltage as the voltage could not be changed after generation. This led to high transmission losses as loads increased resulting in a power station being required every few kilometres.

And then there was AC

Nicholas Tesla developed the AC (Alternating Current) transformer which allows the voltage to be changed. This allows high voltage transmission over large distances then the voltage is stepped down for local non-lethal use.

Th
e AC system was adopted after a protracted fight between Edison and Tesla. Until the 1920's all domestic appliances were designed to run on AC – 250V in the UK, 110V in the USA and similar across the world. House and office wiring has remained this way ever since.

And then there was Radio

The thermionic valve was invented and this led to domestic radio set. Radio receivers are DC systems so AC to DC convertors were built into the sets.

This led to record players, television and then to home computers, both DC systems relying on AC to DC convertors.

And then there were portable computers

This is where the explosion of DC devices began.

The demand for portable computers led to great improvements in rechargeable battery technology which in turn led to a much wider use of portable devices.

This also has led to a great improvement in the performance of AC to DC convertors and also to better DC to DC convertors.

A selection of my chargers

 


 My AC powered DC devices

Device



Device


Television

2


Boiler

1

Radio

2


Power Drill

1

DVD Player

1


Mini power drill

1

Video Recorder

1


Fairy Lights

3

Computers

2


Shaver

1

Computer Monitors

2


Under Cupboard Lights

3

Printer

1


Ceiling spotlights

1

Mobile phone chargers

2


Cupboard Lights

1

4G WIFI Hub

1


Doorbell

1

Internet router

1


USB Charger plug

1

Telephone system

2


Washing Machine display

1

TV Tuner

1


Cooker Display

1

TV Ariel booster

1







Total

35

My AC devices that could be DC

Many of these are available in DC rechargeable battery powered versions.

Device



Device


Fan Heater

2


Washing Machine

1

Oven

1


Iron

1

Extractor Fan

1


Vacuum Cleaner

2

Toaster

1


Paint Stripper

1

Kettle

1


Power Drill

1

Refrigerator

1


Soldering Iron

2

Carving Knife

1


Lawn Mower

1

Mixer

1


Hedge Trimmer

1

Hair Dryer

2


Strimmer

1

Jig Saw

1


Sander

1

Circular Saw

1


Angle Grinder

1




Total

26

Some of the power devices are are possibly better as AC powered.

Mini generation devices get added to the system

To complete the picture, many houses now have generating devices such as PV solar panels and wind turbines which can feed back to the AC supply. Some also have backup batteries.

So we have a mishmash of systems

We now have multiple devices individually converting AC to DC, each with power losses and using up material resources. We also have some houses with DC to AC convertors. With modern electronics, DC to DC conversion is relatively simple and inexpensive.

So, houses and offices should have DC distribution cabling

It is time now to develop a standardised domestic/office DC power Distribution System from which all our devices can be powered without a multitude of costly and bulky AC/DC convertors. They can be powered from the local AC distribution system via a single AC/DC convertor.saving energy and materials

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Concept Box - Connecting Inventors with Partners



What is Concept Box and what does it do?

Concept Box simplifies the task of inventors identifying partners for their inventions and of companies finding new inventive products or services. This is done while preserving the confidentially of the concepts and simplifying the process of applying Non Disclosure Agreements.

If you are a lone inventor or a company looking for new product ideas or solutions to product problems, please get in touch.

If you like the idea of Concept Box and would like to help, again get in touch.

Below is a description of the Concept box idea and list of concepts from just 2 of our conceptors1.

What problem is Concept Box solving?

There are 4 ways of introducing inventions to the marketplace.

  1. University Spin Outs come from academic research and are usually bigger projects with a lot of the background work already done.

  2. Company Suggestion Box introduces ideas from the workforce and are taken up by the company R&D structure

  3. Incubator Model - Individual with an idea wishing to build a business from the idea. This is a difficult path but there is a lot of help along the way for good ideas and good people.

  4. Concept Box – For individuals with good ideas who are not in the position to build a business from the ideas.

Problem a Conceptor faces – 1. Protecting the Concept IP

Often the individual inventor is not in the position to patent the concept or to take the concept to a patentable stage. Non Disclosure Agreements are normally used in this situation but this involves the conceptor having a MNDA with each organisation approached.

Concept Box will implement a simple Non Disclosure Agreement system which we have called an Intermediary Non Disclosure Agreement (INDA).

INDA - In the INDA, the Conceptor and the Adopter2 each have a Mutual Non Disclosure Agreement (MNDA) with Concept Box. In this way, both conceptor and adopter require only one INDA with Concept Box.

Once a deal is struck, IP protection is then up to the parties, not Concept Box.

Mechanism of an INDA


Problem a Conceptor faces – 2. Finding an Adopter

How does a conceptor find an adopter? Concept box will build up a database of companies who are willing to accept approaches (and those who are not). We will also know what information each company requires.

We also expect to learn of companies who are seeking concepts which can then be circulated amongst our conceptors to see if they have any ideas on solving the problems.

How does Concept Box Earn Money?

  1. Charge inventors a small fee per concept to be put on our database.

  2. Charge Adopters an annual fee to access our database and receive notification of new additions to the database which match their preferences.

  3. Charge a percentage fee on any licencing agreements made.

  4. Advertising on our website.

  5. Sell the software or the service to other geographic/language areas

Notes:-

1 Conceptor – A person or organisation that owns the IP of a concept.

2 Adopter - An organisation willing to discuss adopting and implementing the concept.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Carbon Capture and Storage at Local Level


Introduction
 
CO2 for commercial use is mostly created chemically. In lots of applications, the CO2 required could be obtained locally by low cost carbon capture from CO2 emitters

Description
 
Shortly, it will become possible to economically capture CO2 from low volume CO2 emitters and from the atmosphere.

The purpose of this plan is to develop Carbon Capture Use and Storage (CCUSlocal) units which can capture CO2 from local emitters and to distribute this CO2 to local users. With the CCUSlocal units, it may also be possible to recover the CO2 from some of these users and recycle it. The CO2 captured may also be sequestered.

Benefits of CCUSlocal
  • Reduce the amount of CO2 manufactured to meet commercial use
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of the CO2 distribution network
  • Reduce the number of strong heavy metal CO2 storage tanks required for distribution
  • Many small emissions of CO2 being captured for use and sequestration
  • Possible to extract CO2 from the atmosphere.
  • Applicable wherever CO2 is produced or used globally
Plan
 
Initially procure the rights to set up a factory to manufacture Small Scale Carbon Capture units to produce bottled CO2 then set up franchises for local collection and delivery services across the UK then elsewhere in the world.
.
There are also specific applications with their own requirements for a complete system. Units for these applications would be developed and sold through franchises specific to that market.

There are also a wider range of applications involving cooperation with other manufacturers. These are being investigated.

Some of the local uses of CO2
Paint Ball Guns

Air Pistols
Beer and soft drink carbonation and dispensing in bars and restaurants

Welding
Food preservation

Fire Extinguishers
Aquariums

Horticulture
Hydroponics

Soda Syphons
Carbonated Water Taps

Dry Ice Production
Soil Improvement


Concrete Production
Some Small Scale CO2 Emitters

Gas/Biofuel heaters/boilers in large buildings
Brewers and distillers
Wine making
Bars/Restaurants/Clubs

Features of the CCUSlocal unit
 
To succeed in this market place, the characteristics of the CO2 capture unit must include:-
  • Be small to medium sized but can be grouped to scale up to larger units
  • Require no external equipment other that a pump to remove the pure CO2
  • Require little routine maintenance
  • Produce CO2 of high purity > 99%
  • Be able to produce CO2 of food use purity
  • Have versions that work with different temperatures of feedstock
  • Produce CO2 at a competitive price
It would also be useful to have versions which:-
  • Will extract CO2 from CH4 streams
  • Will extract CH4 from air streams
Such a technology is under development. It will be necessary to obtain licences to use this technology.

Future Developments

Tie up with a company producing activated carbon from coconut shells, coffee grounds etc. This produces CO2 and Activated Carbon that can be used to store methane.

The CO2 separation system may be modified to separate methane (CH4) from an air stream creating a valuable resource from animal sheds.

The separation system also be modified to separate CO2 from a mainly CH4 stream ( anaerobic digesters ) thus increasing its value.

Integrating CO2 use and CO2 recovery in bars to reduce drink delivery and ventilation costs

Initial Needs
 
Someone to take over, organise and finance this project. Owing to my advanced age, I am not in a position to take the lead in this operation.

Seed funding for “Proof of Concept”. Initially this involves liaison with the developer on the practicalities of the technology.

Promise of support to convince the developer that we are serious and can afford a license.
Once a license is obtained, must quickly build up production capacity, marketing, publicity and franchising effort.

Note that the separation technology can be scaled up for high volume applications.
.